CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin picked Hampshire Circuit Judge Donald Cookman to replace Sen. Walt Helmick in the state Senate.
Helmick, D-Pocahontas, resigned earlier this month to become state agriculture commissioner.
Cookman was one of three candidates named last week by an 18-member Democratic Party search committee. The other two were former state legislators Mike Ross and Tom Hawse.
Tomblin passed over Ross even though Ross gave $5,000 to the governor's inauguration celebration.
Cookman, a former prosecutor, has been on the circuit court since 1993.